Nana Grizol: "Everything You Ever Hoped And Worked For"

Single (2008)

By Chris Molnar | 31 October 2008

On the recent Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise Tour, the biggest surprise was some unknown kid whose energy made all the other famous indie stalwarts look like some sort of senior home karaoke crew. Turns out it was Theo Hilton of Nana Grizol, and if he represents a new awakening for the old collective then we all have reason to be very excited. Combining the plainspoken urgency of his dayjob in folk-punkers Defiance, Ohio with a Neutral Milk-ian horn hook, “Everything You Ever Hoped And Worked For” neatly sums up the unique appeal of Hilton’s style. Lyrically he pulls no punches, finding the emotional and true in everyday emotions, and the music is perfectly suited.

The opening lines—“And will we ever feel that way again? / Like, we were so close that we could live inside of one another’s skin / Like we all showed up in this town to make something new and good begin / Will we ever be able to call one another my surrogate sister or brother / Without being kinda cynical about its implications?”—sum up perfectly the problems of trying to make lightning strike twice that any sort of reunion tour imply. But Hilton has no baggage with aging indie rockers like Mangum trying to figure out how to make it work ten years on. The song hits home because he’s not singing about that at all. Rather, it’s something that we know all about, whether in a relationship or a band or just a group of old friends: that feeling of everything ending and beginning at once, the tragic and hopeful turn. This becomes transcendent because instead of offering any pat answers he just raises his voice and lets the band take over, their punk chug climaxing when he’s finally said everything he needs to say.